Immigrant Children

This week the  Syracuse New Times published an article on immigrant children. It describes the the journey of Central American children to the US as documented by former Syracuse photographer Michelle Frankfurter. Frankfurter recently published a book, Destino ( destination or destiny) based on her experiences traveling in Mexico since 2000 where she  photographed and  interviewed Central American migrants . Frankfurter’s black and white photographs capture  touching personal moments and hardships faced by migrants along the way.

The article also includes information on on a  program in central New York  for unaccompanied refugee minor children.  For the most part, these children enter the US in legal immigration status as refugees. They come from areas of conflict around the world including countries in Africa and southeast Asia. They are resettled in the US as part of a world-wide effort to provide sanctuary to refugees who are fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries. Many of these children have  lost their parents to violence or disease . They come without parents or other relatives to care for them and therefore need foster parents to provide guidance and support.  Toomey Residential Services, a  Catholic Charities program, provides case workers for the children and finds foster homes for them. Anyone interested in information on how to become a foster parent for this program may contact Michelle Maser at Toomey Residential Services: (315) 424-1845.

To read the article go to

Fee to Expedite Passport

Saturday, September 27, 2014
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The expedite fee normally charged at this location will be waived
on this day for non-emergency cases.
Buffalo Passport Agency
111 Genesee Street
Suite 101
Buffalo, NY 14203
For passport information, fees, and forms, please visit

Married to US Citizen?

If you are married to a US citizen, the citizen can file a relative petition for you, as long as you have a valid marriage.  The problem is that if you entered the US without papers, in most cases you will not be able to stay in the US to apply for green card based on this marriage.  You will have to leave the US to file an application for a green card in your home country.  If you were in the US for 6 months or longer without immigration status, you will be barred from coming back to the US for three years.  If you were in the US for 12 months or longer without status, you will be barred from coming back to the US for 10 years. You may be eligible to ask that this bar be waived (forgiven), but in the past, you had to apply for the waiver from outside the US. This could mean a long separation from your husband or wife while waiting for a decision on the waiver.

In 2013, the Immigration Service changed the law to allow a husband or a wife of a US citizen to apply for a provisional waiver of the 3 and 10 year bars from inside the US.  If the waiver is approved, you may only have to be outside the US for the times it takes to be interviewed for your green card in your home country.  To see if you may be eligible click on Provisional Waiver.